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Meaning through the Mystery of Suffering

February 24, 2017 by  
Filed under 30 Days T Lisieux, Anthony Lilles, Dan Burke, DI Radio, Suffering

Description: This week Dan, Melissa and Dr. Lilles discuss meaning through the mystery of suffering and the importance of a charitable response to this reality.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • How can trials and difficulties help detach us from earthly things?
  • How can we talk to people who are suffering about the mystery of suffering being a grace or blessing for the soul?
  • While we are in the midst of great suffering, how can we act with love? What does that mean exactly?
  • How can we truly help those who do not understand the “joys” of suffering?
  • What does St. Thérèse mean when she says, “I shall not fear [God's] strikes”?


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Christine Dudych

    … a fluffy comment… Why don’t people pronounce the candy “CARE-a-mel” instead of “KAHR-ml”?

    • Renee Poudrier

      People pronounce it both ways. It often depends on where in the country you grew up. And I don’t feel qualified to respond to your serious entry, as I still kick at the pricks and pains…

  • Christine Dudych

    On a more serious note, I’ve thought through suffering in this way…

    I once saw a video on the life of Christ, which conflated the Gospels. I forget what it was called, or who produced it. But at the scene of the children coming to Christ, He says, “Suffer the little children to come to me…” It struck me, that the word, ‘suffer’ means ‘to allow’. I looked up “agony”, and found that its etymology is in struggle, in opposing, from Greek. And it followed, for me, anyway, that Christ “agonized” in the garden, as long as He was struggling with accepting the cup, but “suffered” the passion, when He accepted it. … and for us…

    … Well, we experience pain in a couple of ways, either by natural illness or by abuse of whatever sort. Both are the result of mankind wanting to be independent of God — original sin. If we fight back, if we “agonize”, we’re still trying to be on top of life on our own, … in control, which is to some degree, a rejection of God. (Caveat, later…) When we “suffer”, when we “allow” the experience of pain in whatever form, we’re choosing to still make room for God, and in effect, allowing God to be that much more present in our world. God comes to us on invitation; it behooves us to not reject Him. It’s a sidelong way to do it, but…

    Now the caveat: I don’t mean, by the above, that we should not seek treatment for illnesses, nor hold back from seeking justice in the face of abuse. It’s about our interior disposition. I hope that’s clear.

  • LizEst

    Body and soul make up who we are. That’s why what we do with our bodies matters. In heaven, without the body, the soul knows and loves God only in the way the soul itself can know God, which is not to say that we cannot begin to know and love God in this way here on earth. But, after the resurrection of the dead, when our bodies and our souls are joined together again, our bodies will be glorified and we will know (and love) God in a complete way that was not possible before. That’s why we profess in the Creed: I look forward to the resurrection of the dead.

    And yes, you are right. We can have joy even amidst our sufferings, sometimes even a taste of supernatural joy!

    • Christine Dudych

      Thanks, Liz! Well put.

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